Prince Harry and Sir Elton John teamed up Tuesday to launch a new billion-dollar partnership to tackle male transmission of HIV.
Harry, 33, and Sir Elton, 71, took the stage on the second day of the 2018 International AIDS Conference to tell the world about their latest project, with the royal saying he was “honoured” to be working with his good friend, Elton.
The Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) and International AIDS Foundation (IAF) launched the project, titled MenStar Coalition, at the Amsterdam event, with Harry sharing: “What we have learned is that we succeed when we put people at the heart of our strategies.
“This is a time when new, energetic and innovative solutions are needed more than ever before… and this campaign is bravely tackling the root cause of this problem — the lack of awareness of HIV prevention among hard-to-reach young men.”
Sir Elton added, according to the Evening Standard: “If we want to win this fight once and for all we must bring men into this fight.”
According to the Daily Express, the project will launch in Africa next year, where men will be encouraged to self-test for HIV to help stop the virus spreading.
The fight against HIV/AIDS was one the biggest causes for Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, who, in 1987 opened the U.K.’s first purpose-built unit at London Middlesex Hospital to treat the disease.
Harry has been attending the 2018 AIDS Conference as part of his charity Sentebale and its Let Youth Lead program, which supports HIV-positive young people in the African nations of Lesotho and Botswana.
Charlize Theron, who launched her organization — the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project — in 2007, was also among those speaking at Tuesday’s AIDS conference.
The actress urged people “to act” now, with her describing the young people she’d met so far as “inspirational.”